Mental Health Monday Week 3

I had therapy last Tuesday. I honestly don’t remember much of what was said. We talked about so many things. Marriage was high up on the topic list. That is a…complicated situation. I don’t even know what’s going on with that right now.

Another huge thing was me making plans for my life – me and my kids – because I haven’t done anything with my life, other than have kids. I haven’t had a purpose other than raising children, and even then, I don’t do that well.

My future path so far for Spring 2017 looks like this:

  • Finish registering for classes
  • Decide if I want to do summer classes 
  • Get some school supplies? 
  • Get the kids to their appts successfully 
  • Better advocate for Lauren’s 4th grade year (IEP meeting in May) 
  • Continue going to my therapist and DOING THE WORK EVEN WHEN IT’S HARD 
  • Keep going to marriage counseling, even though I have to go alone and DO THE WORK EVEN WHEN IT’S HARD 
  • Purge my house of too-small clothes, and unused toys 
  • Read 6 books (photo of them all at the end of the post) 
  • Go to church with the kids on Sundays 
  • Journal more. I miss writing and I need to get back to it. Even if it’s just song lyrics for now (Hard Love by NEEDTOBREATHE is a GREAT song) 
  • Go to the psychiatrist appt
  • Go to the ARMS appt (easy, because it’s at my house) WIN.

There are probably some more things, and I will update as I think of them but this is it for now.

Beth Hardinger Blog

Mental Health Monday Week 2

Beth Hardinger Blog Mental Health Mondays
Last Tuesday, I had my first real therapy session. (The first one was just questionnaires, mostly.) I held in my tears until she shut the door and said, “So, how was your week?” Because, it wasn’t great. We talked about how my negative thinking is affecting not only me, but everyone around me. She helped me come up with three good things (so far) about me that are positive:

  • I am a mother.
  • I am determined.
  • I am strong.

She told me I have to stop with the ‘buts’. For example, she said “you are a mom.” I said, “but not a good one.” I may not feel like a good mother in the moment, but I have to realize that I am doing the best I can for my kids with all that I know right now (and hopefully I will learn to be an even better mom as I learn to change my thinking and behavior.) 

I am determined, BUT not as determined as I could be, or should be. Then she reminded me that I am here, at therapy, getting help. I sought it out, and I got up and went, even though I was scared. 

I am strong, BUT not that strong. I fail constantly, at everything. Then she reminded me, that if I am determined to do the work, I will continue to get stronger each day, and I am fighting for my mental health, my marriage, my kids, my life. 

My homework was to find positive things about myself, tiny or large, and refuse to add the ‘but’. Like, I took the kids to the park tonight. Before, I would have added, “BUT I didn’t let them play very long, because I was anxious about all of the older kids at the playground.” BUT, I’m not allowed to do that anymore. I need to change my thinking. I WILL fail, but I am not allowed to hate myself for it, and I’m supposed to try again. And again, and again, until I can find several positive things about myself, and not even think about the ‘buts’. 

I AM A MOTHER.

I AM DETERMINED.

I AM STRONG.

Mental Health Monday

Beth Hardinger Blog Mental Health Monday
I’ve had depression, anxiety and social anxiety all my life. A few weeks ago, I finally made an appointment with a therapist. I have so many issues, I feel like I will be in therapy for the rest of my life (which is maybe a good thing, I don’t know). I’m not sure how much I will share here, mostly because I’m no good at writing about how I feel. I do know that I’m sick of hiding it. It’s hard enough to live with my issues every day in my own head, but when people start wondering why I keep flaking out on plans, or I get angry and lash out for no good reason, I feel like I need to say something. I’m not crazy. I’m not stupid. I have a legitimate disease that I am seeking treatment for. 

Which brings me to my next topic: treatment. I will be seeing a therapist weekly for at least the next two months (I have to call today and make more appointments for June). I will also be seeing a…I’m not even sure what she is called. Social Anxiety Helper? I don’t know. But basically, she will be able to meet me where I am (home, coffee shop, park with my kids) and help me through my immediate issues. So that’s three and a half hours a week of therapy.

MEDICATION

I will be asking for medication at my Tuesday appointment. I am not sure that I want it, but everyone in my life is telling me to go on meds. So, I will. Even though the thought of taking meds every day gives me anxiety. I have a hard time swallowing pills. I even had to switch my methotrexate from oral pills to an injection, because I was having such a hard time with the pills.

I’m terrified of side effects. I’m terrified of getting used to one med and having to switch and get used to a new one all over. I’m terrified the meds will make me worse, not better. Going on meds for other people is not a good reason to go on meds. I know this. But after my horrible panic attack the other night, and just a shitty, embarrassing weekend, I am wondering if that would be the best decision. 

Please feel free to share your stories in the comments, or if you feel more comfortable, you can email me. Bethahardinger@gmail.com